Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Track and field: Fountain-Fort Carson's O'Quinn flashes speed by qualifying for 100, 200 in 1st try

by BRENT W. NEW preps@gazette.com - Published: April 19, 2014

FOUNTAIN -- Sitting on the infield in her orange-rimmed sunglasses, with her head nestled against her propped-up knees, Rajon O'Quinn certainly wasn't giving off the impression that she had just pulled off one of the best performances in the recent memory of the Fountain-Fort Carson track program.

"It's good, but I have bigger goals for me and the team," the Trojans senior said.

Still, Saturday was something to be remembered.

Not only had she grabbed the state lead in the high jump and helped the 800-meter relay breeze to another victory at the Ray Campbell Invitational at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, but she'd also qualified for state in her fourth and fifth events of the year after she tried the 100 and 200 for the first time in her high school career.

They were successes, but the Trojans as a whole still found themselves in second place. The girls' team (109 points) and boys' team (115) finished behind Cherokee Trail, which won with a girls' score of 120.5 and a boys' score of 137.

Sand Creek's Mariah Walker took a step in the right direction after worrying that she was "plateauing too early", winning the shot put and discus to help the Scorpions grab third in the girls' meet. On the boys' side, Travis Gordon broke 15 seconds in winning the boys' 110 hurdles to help Palmer take third.

The biggest performance, however, wasn't up for debate. When addressing O'Quinn's day, Trojans coach Ben Montoya couldn't help but smile: "Considering they had prom last night that was a pretty good performance."

A surprising one too. O'Quinn, who grabbed the state lead in high jump with a personal-best 5-feet, 9-inches, stretched her resume after placing second in the 100 with a state-qualifying time of 12.19 and later winning the 200 with another state time of 24.95.

"I can't believe she just came out on her first time and did that," said Widefield's Jordan Edmonds, who placed in the 100 and 200 at state last year. "I couldn't believe she beat me in both of them. Good for her."

Montoya said he'll probably wait until the last second to see which events he will enter O'Quinn into for the state meet.

"She can only go in four events," Montoya said, referring to the four-event limit placed on athletes at the state meet. "We're trying to get our kids qualified in as many events as possible before state, and Rajon, well, she'll probably qualify for six events."

O'Quinn edged Poudre's Carly Paul for the state lead in the high jump, as both girls had jumps of 5-8 entering Saturday.

Paul won the state title with a jump of 5-8 at last year's final while O'Quinn took second at 5-7.

"I want 6-feet and a state title," O'Quinn said. That's my dream."

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